After a year of unprecedented disruptions to store operations, a store’s role in merchant strategy is changing and being reinterpreted. To flourish in more competitive marketplaces, retailers must embrace digital solutions that enable a modern and intelligent shop. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce is ready to help retailers accelerate and empower their digital transformation journey.
Customers want the extra attention
The obvious progression from a personalized digital consumer engagement to in-store customer engagement is to apply the same personalized concepts in-store. In this situation, we’re talking about ‘clienteling’, which is the process of curating customer interactions by providing retail workers with an picture of their customers through technology.
This is not a novel tactic. Since the dawn of time, retailers have been looking for ways to develop long-term relationships with their most valuable customers. Customer mobility and in-store associate turnover has increased as retail chains have grown and moved into e-commerce marketplaces. As a result, clients are less likely to receive customized service because of the lack of continuity of in-store staff and the number of stores they visit. This means front-line workers are missing out on important information about their client purchases and preferences because of a gap between online markets and brick-and-mortar establishments.
The good news is – improved consumer insights can be gained with AI and machine learning to empower store associates with the information they need to better serve customers. Microsoft is helping retailers create an end-to-end buying experience across all stages of the consumer journey by linking data from both digital and physical enterprise platforms. For ex. handheld digital sharing devices can be used by employees in real businesses to view a complete 360-degree consumer profile. AI-driven recommendations, real-time up-sell and cross-sell coaching, and access to client brand affinity or product preferences are all made available to frontline staff.
6 Feet Please, I’d like to pay with contactless payments
Several new research studies have indicated that a significant number of consumers are nervous about making purchases in physical stores. Retailers can alleviate some of this concern by providing seamless contactless purchasing options.
Now, consumers have one less physical surface to touch through the enabled contactless payment options such as the store associate’s handheld devices or automated checkout systems. Aside from saving time at the register, and removing an obstacle to the purchasing process, contactless payments have significant advantages over traditional methods of payment. This allows retailers to provide safe and secure buying experiences thanks to the contactless selling capabilities of Dynamics 365 Commerce.
Laser focused store operations
With the help of edge-based technology, edge computing is a distributed computing paradigm that brings computation and data storage closer to the sources of data, retailers can increase their total store revenue and profits through new insights like spotting, reacting more quickly to in-store profit gaps and increasing the efficiency of store team members.
Technology solutions that streamline shop operations can also reduce the time it takes to create new stores or franchises by removing friction from the most common aspects of business operations and retail processes. It’s here where Dynamics 365 Commerce can make a big difference in the efficiency of overall operations and the consumer experience.
Getting more than you put in
Retailers recognize the significance of increasing physical store income. With Dynamics 365 Commerce, businesses gain a better awareness of their customers’ purchase behaviors, allowing them to adjust product selections, provide timely and data-driven suggestions, and take advantage of any relevant specials. Furthermore, retailers may enable limitless aisles to ensure that they never miss a sales opportunity by building a single view of consumers for use at physical POS and linking this with a real-time view of cross-store goods and purchase possibilities. This means raising the number of units sold per each transaction and boosting sales per square foot. In addition, inventory, shift, and cash drawer management activities across all role-specific workspaces enhance in-store team member efficiency.
What’s beyond the foreseeable future?
Microsoft is hard at work bringing the latest tools and optimization features to market to change how retailers and consumers interact with each other. If you have not had the opportunity to read up on the new Microsoft Intelligent Order Management service, I highly suggest you research and read all about the amazing products like IOM that Microsoft continues to surprise the industry with. As the world and Microsoft continues to evolve, grow, and learn from global events like COVID-19, we can all breathe a sigh of relief as once again, technology shows that it can bring us all together in a smaller, more personable world.